Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I was reading through a Code of Ethics yesterday and stumbled upon what was called the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So, I had to give it a look over. Here are some "rights" of particular note:

Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

This is drivel.

With all these "rights" who has time for real liberties? I notice that in Article 23, there's no mention about who gets to keep the fruits of a worker's labor. And that's no surprise. All these "rights" cost money - provided by your tax dollars via the benevolent and all-knowing state.
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And article 3 puts an interesting spin on a familiar friend:

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

Where's property? Even "pursuit of happiness" was better than "security of person".

But at least they're trying.
I think I'd rather see them not try at all. This spin on "rights" is really just a list of obligations with which government or other individuals are now saddled.

Right to a free education? Get it from the state!

Right to leisure? Government infringement on contracts!

Right to "food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services"? Raise taxes on the wealthy!

These aren't rights at all. At least not in the sense in which most of us understand rights.
The John Birch society has some interesting, although economically deficient commentary on the UN and its aims. Unfortunately, the JBS tends to miss the point that it is statism in all its forms that threatens liberty, not just the UN. This group is big amongst military vets loath to fight under a blue helmet. (It's the wrong color blue, anyway.)
The John Birch Society, from what I've heard, is a bunch of lunatics. I'll try to elaborate more tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure that they're more-or-less a conspiracy theory fanatic group.
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